Made during the pseudonym craze of the 1960s, the music score was credited to "Franck Wallace." Italian composers usually registered their pseudonyms with their performing right society, the SIAE, and the identities were listed by Bianco e Nero and the Monthly Film Bulletin who both reported that Wallace was Franco Mannino. However, some reference sources such as Donald C. Willis in 1972 suggested "Franck Wallace" was a joint pseudonym for Mannino and Roman Vlad (the two composers sometimes collaborated and Wallace is a very rough transliteration of Vlad). Even more confusingly, Beat Records released the soundtrack in 2008 and discovered that the surviving tapes in the Nazionalmusic vaults were attributed to Francesco De Masi. So the CD went out credited to De Masi only. De Masi did not work with either of the other two composers, instead being asked at the behest of the director to do a new score, not liking Mannino's effort; what portions thereof are contained in the film, are unknown, as the director seemingly changed his mind again, as Mannino is credited in the film for the score. See more »
Riccardo Freda, an Italian director of skill who directed many Sword and Sandal films of the 60's as well as horror greats like I Vampiri, does a very serviceable job directing this thoughtful, mood-laden sequel of sorts to his earlier effort The Horrible Doctor Hitchcok. One does not need to have seen that earlier effort to follow what goes on here as they are really entities unto themselves with the same characters just going through different circumstances and having different motivations. In this film Dr. Hitchcock(living in Scotland - very implausible given the Mediterranean looks of most of the cast) is bound in a wheelchair and has nothing but sickly pity for himself as he wishes to die. Helping him remain alive is a local doctor giving him some sort of concoction to live and, of course, no love triangle would be complete without the love object of the other two sides - sultry, hypnotic breathless Barbara Steele - the 60's queen of the horror film
particularly the Gothic horror film. Steele is not a great actress by
any stretch. She is lovely to look at and has the most impressive pair of - yes, I know where I could go here but really I intended to say eyes the entire time. Freda creates a slowly building tension between the central characters and the story is nothing exceptional in terms of creativity. You have seen this story before in various adaptations. Freda does; however, have a flair with the camera lens, and I was really surprised at how well he, the actors, and the story all combined to make an interesting film experience. The rest of the cast is all serviceable with Elio Jotta as Dr. Hitchcock being particularly effective and Harriet Medin(who was in the previous Hitchcock film also as a maid) doing a nice, creepy job as Catherine the housemaid. There are some very powerfully shot scenes: the tomb scene is genuinely eerie and the final denouement is quite good. Loads of atmosphere make this one of the best of its kind.
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